There are the three things the top experts rely on to snag the top spots on Google, Yahoo and MSN; Stats, Spying and Shortcuts. Simply put, stats show you where to spend more time than money, spying shows you how to beat your competition and shortcuts show you how to do it as quickly as possible.
Search Engine Stats: Up to date Statistics show you who is searching where and what they are clicking on. This will help you make the best possible decisions on how to spend your SEO time and where to spend your SEM money (search engine marketing, including pay per clÃck advertising.)
A.) The following search usage information is based on the Nielson/Net Ratings of May 2008.:
59.3% – Google | 16.9% – Yahoo | 13.3% – MSN | 4.1% – AOL
That’s almost 94% of all searches going through just four search engines and well over half going through Google alone!
B.) Knowing exactly how much each search engine is used is the first big step. Now we know where to focus our time and effort. But that’s only half the story. We need some reliable inside information to help us plan for search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies. So we turn to a leader – the UK based company Neutralize.com. They confirm that users of Google versus those of MSN are almost exact opposites when it comes to clicking on natural versus pay per clÃck search listings. Here’s what their extensive research has revealed:
On Google, 72.3% of visitors rely on the natural listings that SEO helps you get.
Only 27.7% use the paid links you purchase as part of your SEM plan.
On MSN, the opposite is true. Only 28.8% of their visitors go for the organic listings you get from SEO.
But a whopping 71.2% can’t wait to clÃck on those paid links.
This information alone can be worth its weight in gold! I cite these numbers when I tell my clients paying me to optimize for MSN is almost a waste of money, since they would spend about the same on PPC and get instant results. But by the same token it helps them understand why they get so few clicks for paid listings on Google and it’s more evident that SEO efforts are well spent here.
The Art of SEO Spying: If you want to beat your competition you really need to know what they are up to. Otherwise you’re just guessing and that gets expensive.
So forget about guessing your way through or spending tons of time and money on research. You can get most for free and the rest for just a few well placed dollars. Just head on over to SpyFu.com and check out the free information they provide. Or, if you want the bigger picture go to to see everything they provide, free and paid. If you decide the free stuff is not enough, I suggest spending $6 for a 3 day full access package and test drive it.
Here’s a blurb from SpyFu.com…”Want to know which of your competitors has the largest ad budget, or which term gets the most clicks per day? Use SpyFu’s Advanced Search to find out. Advanced Search allows one to search by all the metrics provided on the site and allows you to focus on the data that’s most important to you. What’s more, you can save your Advanced Search results to Excel with the clÃck of a button.”
SEO Shortcuts; Top Industry Tools: Before we get into the details I want to stress that shortcuts should NEVER involve cutting corners. The shortcuts we will explore are based on discovering how the experts get their top results so quickly and then following in their footsteps. When it comes to SEO, the best shortcut to success is through the use of SEO software tools.
There are plenty out there so I’ll just focus on two of the most widely used.
Both of these tools are fantastic but designed to accomplish very different things. One of the first SEO tools I used can be found at webposition.com. They have a professional version for $389 (plus $99 per year) or a standard version for $149 (plus $99 per year.) I only used the professional version because it had more than the standard. The reporting was great but I found it to be a better tool for working with pay per clÃck than doing actual SEO.
I switched over to the little beauty available at SEOeliteWeb.com and have had no reason to look for another. For $167 with free lifetime upgrades and no annual fees it’s the best money I’ve spent so far. I like it because it’s a real down in the trenches SEO tool that even handles linking and I can show my seminar attendees how to use it in a matter of minutes. And to be honest, even my least knowledgeable students get some top spots after a month or two with it, so I tend to recommend it heartily.
About The Author
Scott Jason is the owner and president of . An accomplished SEO consultant and SEO copywriter he has been getting top ranking results from Google, Yahoo and MSM for more than nine years.